New to Estate Sales?

A Beginners Guide to What They Are and How They Work

What is an estate sale?

An estate sale takes place when a family or estate has a large volume of items that need to be sold out of a house, generally due to a move, significant downsize, or someone passing away.

The Brown Button team will go into the house, organize, stage, transform the space into a boutique, price everything that can be sold, and advertise the sale. We then open the doors and invite the public to shop inside the house over 2 or 3 days. Our average sales contains 1,000 – 3,000 items and usually include categories like designer furniture, original art, jewelry, fashion, vintage and antique, mid century modern, and decor.

A common misconception about estate sales is that someone has always passed away, giving the sale a somber tone. 

This is rarely the case with a Brown Button sale, as they’re almost always due to a big move or downsize. 90% of our clients are entering a new chapter of their life; a new job in a different state, downsizing with the kids out of the house, or moving to a new neighborhood with a different style — are all common reasons for a sale.

Our goal with every sale is to maximize the value of the items for our clients, craft an amazing and unique shopping experience for our guests, and have the home 100% empty when we are finished with the process. 

This last goal is often why we’re hired. Having the home completely empty is a huge motivator for why people choose to have an estate sale.

How does an estate sale work?

We host 1 or 2 sales a week and they are all unique.

Each sale is in a different house, with 100% different items, in a different area of town. Each sale is like its own pop up boutique or mini-store with its own style.

Each one of our estate sales is listed on our Upcoming Sales page with the dates that it will be open. We generally have preliminary photos for each sale posted a week out. Our final photos are taken after the home is fully staged and are posted a day or two before the sale opens.

Every item in the house will have a price tag on it. The first day all items are full price. As the sale progresses to day two and three, all items will be discounted from 20% off down to 50% and even 70% off. Remember, one of our goals is to completely empty the house. Because of this discounting, we don’t usually negotiate on prices.

We’re a 21st century estate sale company. That means we accept credit and debit cards, Apple and Google Pay, cash, and checks under $30. If you buy a large painting or piece of furniture, our team will load it into your vehicle for you. If you need an item delivered we have delivery partners we regularly work with.

Most of our sales take place in Leawood, Overland Park, Mission Hills, and the surrounding areas. We’ve hosted stunning 10,000 sqft+ modern sales in Hallbrook, Leawood, antique packed sales in Mission Hills, and mid century filled homes in Brookside, Kansas City. The best way to know the address for this week’s sales is to sign up for our Insiders Club emails. You’ll get one email for each of our sales with all the photos, address, and info. you need.

Why shop estate sales?

We conducted a survey of our customers and asked them why they like shopping at estate sales. Consistently, we heard six key reasons that keep them coming back each week:

It’s Fun: Surprisingly this is the most common answer. Different guests had different ways of describing it including “the thrill of the hunt” and “ the adventure and surprise.” At the end of the day, many of our guests join us each week because it’s a blast to do so.

Unique Interesting Items: With 1,000 – 3,000 different items at every sale, unique variety is a big draw. Over the years we’ve seen everything in our sales: iconic mid century furniture, designer fashion for every era, antiques from around the world, heirloom quality designer furniture, eclectic jewelry collections, and original art of every shape size and media. If you want to shop unique, estate sales are the place to go.

Price: Many of our customers have outfitted entire houses on a crazy low budget by shopping at our sales. Much of the items we sell are priced between 20% and 50% of the original retail and are then discounted each new sale day. It is hard to beat the cost effectiveness of estate sale shopping.

Good For The Environment: Buying used is better for the planet than buying new – full stop. Every item that is made comes with two costs: the monetary cost and the environmental costs. When you buy used you’re only paying a fraction of the monetary cost, and the environmental cost has already been paid. Many of our customers embrace Conscious Consumerism and enjoy the fact the shopping used through estate sales doesn’t put an extra burden on the environment. You can learn more about our environmental values here.

Homes Tour: Million dollar mansions, lake houses, 1960’s time capsules, and one castle (for real); seeing the homes, the architecture, and the unique interior design styles is part of the joy of estate sales.

Our Team: We were very blessed when we saw this feedback in the survey from our guests. In the words of one shopper: “The people at Brown Button are always so friendly and very helpful. The Brown Button staff never disappoint!” BPA is one of our core values. That stands for Blow People Away. With each sale, our team works to BPA with our crafted sales boutique and our customer service.

How To Find Our Next Estate Sale?

Each one of our estate sales is listed with it’s sale dates on our Upcoming Sales page.

We don’t post the sale address until the day before the sale opens. The easiest way to stay connected with our upcoming sales is to sign up for our Insiders Club emails. We’ll keep you in the loop for each week’s sale and make it easy to view the photo album, sale description, and the sale address.

FAQs

Each estate sale is located in a different house, often in Leawood, Overland Park, and the Kansas City area. We post the address for each of our sales the day before the sale opens. You can find the address on the sale listing in our upcoming sales page or you can join our email list and we’ll send you an email with all the sales info including the address.

We accept cash, credit and debit cards, Apple and Google Pay. We do not accept checks for purchases over $30. If paying by check, you will need to present a valid (non temporary) state issued ID, phone number, and current address.

Yes we do. We will list the discount structure in the advertising for each of our sales on our Upcoming Sales(link) page. Generally our sales open at full price, then progress through 20%, 35%, 50%, and finally a 70% discount over the two or three sale days. Good rule of thumb, the later in the schedule you come, the greater the discount. 

Unfortunately, we are unable to answer pricing inquiries for our customers before the sale opens. This is due to pricing not being finalized until we open. We are more than happy after the sale has opened to answer any pricing or availability questions. The best way to reach us on a sale day is to text our sale day team at 913-815-0505.

Any smaller items you can pick up and are available to place on hold behind our register area. Larger items have a price tag inside a sleeve. Pull the tag from the sleeve and when you’re ready to check out, take the tag to the register area. Our team is available to help you load any larger items. 

Our team will load any item into your vehicle. If you need a delivery service, just ask our sale-day manager for recommendations. You are also welcome to come back on a different day to pick up your item. p5If you are unable to pick up your item during open hours we may be able to prearrange a meeting for Monday or Tuesday pickup. Any items not picked up after our final date will be donated with no refund.

All items are sold as is and are not available to be returned. The one exception is if an item was found to be in non-working condition and returned within 24 hours. We do not offer returns on items that show wear or damage. Any items being returned may be approved by our Sale Day Manager and returned to the home of purchase. We are not able to pick up returns or accept them at our headquarters. If an item is marked “as is,” it is not available to be returned even if found not working.

If you show up early for a sale you might find a trail of small items heading away from the door. These are placeholders for shoppers spot in line. When you arrive at the sale you are welcome to put an item down at the end of the trail to hold your spot. You cannot come the night before, put a marker down and leave (as we’ve had attempted). You are welcome to wait in your car. Customers often enjoy doing this when it is raining or because of the early hour they arrive. Three clarifications: 1. Any small item will do as a line marker – a canvas bag, pack of gum, mug, etc. 2. You do not need to have a marker if you plan on physically standing in line. But please honor the markers already down. 3. If you show up within 20 minutes or later of a sale opening  everyone is finding their place in line, thus a marker is not needed.

Foot tapping and mild swaying are encouraged. Because of the fragile nature of many of the items for sale we do ask that all rigorous dance moves be kept to a minimum.

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